Dan Weiss Style and Analysis


When I heard Dan play this fill the other day, I knew I had to do something "DrumMantra" with it. Please enjoy this style and analysis breakdown based on my own approach to education.

This fill will be part of Dan's upcoming online course and book and I am very grateful that he granted me permission to present my approach to studying his genius.

The thing I found so intriguing about this fill was the subdivision. It is still fairly rare to hear polymetric groupings in drumming, and when you do the subdivision is usually sixteenth notes. To hear a 5:4 polymetric relationship as eighth note triplets is fantastic! What a brain-twister.

In this video, I break down the fill and then provide 12 exercises that will lead you down the path of being able to do this fill yourself. 



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Online Drum Intensive


8-Week/8-hour Online Drumming Intensive

Starting January 10, 2021

Join brush master, Anthony Stanislavski, and DrumMantra creator, Rich Stitzel, in an 8-week intensive that will inspire, motivate, and improve your playing!

Work in a group setting from home while Anthony & Rich guide you each step of the way.

In this 8-week/8-hour Online Drumming Intensive, you will meet with Anthony to work on brush techniques for an hour once a week AND you will meet with Rich for an hour once a week to work on timing, coordination, reading, polymeters, and grooves!

DrumMantra Intensive - 4 Week Course (Fortnightly Lessons)

This course will cover the six key aspects of becoming a great drummer.

Time. Reading. Coordination. Polymeters. Phrasing. Groove.

Course Outline:

Week 1: Warm-Up in 4, Reading in 4 part 1, Coordination part 1, Phrasing 1, Groove part 1.

Week 3: Warm-Up in 4, Reading in 4 part 2, Coordination part 2, Phrasing 2, Groove part 2.

Week 5: Warm-Up in...

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Be present in your practice




“Learn the rules like a pro so that you can break them like an artist.” – Pablo Picasso.


Learning “the rules” can be a tedious and even an overwhelming task. 

Most of us fall in love with an instrument and want to be a musician because of the allure of the unknown.

In the beginning, we sit behind the kit, perhaps trying each sound individually to get a sense of what we have to "paint" with. We try a tom, then a cymbal, then a couple of bass drum hits, followed by closing the hi-hat with the left foot a few times. The magic of the instrument is pulling us in. The fascination with doing something that requires all the limbs takes over our entire being.

Maybe, in the beginning, you wanted to play a beat. Something from the music that you listened to that made you fall in love with the instrument in the first place. Maybe you just wanted to experiment with the sounds, textures,...

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Yamaha Drums Welcomes Drummer Rich Stitzel to the Company's Legendary Artist Roster

Rich Stitzel--Chicago-based drummer, educator, and author--has been signed to the roster of Yamaha Artists

BUENA PARK, Calif.Dec. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Yamaha Drums today announced the signing of Chicago-based drummer, educator, and author Rich Stitzel to the roster of Yamaha Artists.

"Rich is one of those rare, consummate artists who has garnered widespread respect and recognition as a drummer, percussionist, author, composer, and educator," said Greg Crane, manager of Artist Relations, drums, Yamaha Corporation of America. "His unwavering dedication to music education aligns fully with Yamaha, and we look forward to supporting Rich and to help broaden his influence, both on the stage and in the classroom."


In his nearly three-decades-long career, Rich has toured the world extensively and played with such notables as jazz-fusion violinist Christian HowesMary Wilson of The Supremes, The Jim Widner Big Band, country...

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Going Deeper With Mark Walker


One of the greatest drummers in the world stopped by DrumMantra studios during a visit to Chicago. What started out as an afternoon podcast recording turned into an epic 4-day hang. Here is some of the footage from that hang & conversation.

About Mark:

Grammy award-winning drummer/percussionist/composer/educator Mark Walker was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. He began playing drum set at age 10, and at age 16 studied with the “Dean of Percussion” Roy C. Knapp until Knapp’s death in 1979. He played his first professional club, concert and recording gigs barely out of high school.

He gained valuable experience performing an extremely wide range of styles in the Chicago area and later became a first-call session drummer and percussionist, playing on film scores, jingles, and record dates. He also began performing with pianist Lyle Mays (Pat Metheny Group), touring the U.S., South America, and Europe.

While still living in Chicago in the 1990s, he...

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Episode 58




Last week we talked about inspiration and how it's not necessarily the most important thing for getting down to business. Of course, we love inspiration. It puts us in a space where we can create, where we have extra energy that we can focus on making something happen — getting down to work, really getting down to business. But inspiration is not always readily available.

Sometimes we have a day where we want to procrastinate and not do anything. Those are the days that we talked about last week, where we have to get down to the practice room and do anything. Not something from your list, not something from your books, not something from what you've been working on, but just sitting down and playing. Just sit down and play. You are mindlessly playing.

And in that act, things will start to come back. Things begin to develop into a structure again. So sometimes it's good just to leave the structure behind and be free and play. But when...

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Going Deeper With Steve Lyman


My very special guest, Steve Lyman (Stevely Man) is a brilliant drummer and a great all-around dude. Here is a bit from his Wikipedia page:

Stephen Richard Lyman (born January 22, 1982) is an American jazz drummer, composer, and educator.

Born in Salt Lake CityUtah, Lyman was exposed to music at an early age by his father, a classical guitarist. Lyman began to play professionally while in high school and eventually studied music at the University of Utah. He relocated to New York City in 2005 to continue his education at the New School where he began to study with drummer Ari Hoenig, whom he cites a musical influence and mentor.

Musical career

Lyman worked extensively with vocalist José James in the mid-2000s and recorded on James’ critically acclaimed album, The Dreamer.[3] He has also worked with artists including Aaron ParksGilad HekselmanNir Felder...

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The Moving Click


Time. It's something a drummer obsesses over almost more than anything. 

How do you go deeper with your concept of time? How do you begin to understand the finer details of subdivisions? 

Don't just watch the video. Try this exercise out for yourself.

The Moving Click exercise will quickly reveal any weakness in your understanding of accent & pulse permutations. The exercise will increase your ability to detect time fluctuations almost immediately and fix them. (It will also help to develop patience and concentration.)

Get the PDF & MP3 for the Moving Click HERE

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Creating Phrase Shapes


Creating phrase shapes using groupings of two's and three's. 

This is a very simple and effective exercise for developing your own ideas with some of the most basic building blocks of time - groupings of 2's and 3's

Once you have the exercise I present in the video down you can:

  • voice it around the kit
  • change stickings
  • embellish accents with flams, doubles, etc.
  • play over various foot ostinatos


Make up your own phrases! Shed them! Share them! Tag me!

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Free Low Boy Custom Beater!

Ok. Here's the deal.

You want to be great. You want to have a deeper understanding of how time functions. You want to be comfortable with phrasing in odd time signatures. You want to know what a polymeter is and how it works. 

The only way to gain these qualities is through dedicated, focused practice.

I wrote The DrumMantra Books for myself. I wrote them so I could study concepts that I was beginning to discover but didn't quite have a full grasp of yet. Some of the exercises I was writing required meticulous planning and thought due to the inherent complexity of the concept. Take polymeters - these little rhythmic entities can take many measures before a resolution occurs. For example, a quarter note, a dotted eighth note, and a five-note grouping create a pattern that takes 60 beats to resolve! 

When I began to realize that just because I was selling books didn't necessarily mean that people were practicing the material correctly which is why I created the ...

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